I wrote a whole post about lashes months ago now (click here) and that post was very well received, so since then it has been on my list to do a nails 101 edition of the post. I am only finally getting round to it though! I have had acrylics nails on and off for about 18 months now and I have shellac on for around 2 years, so I think I have a lot of tips and advice to talk about in this nails 101 as I am honestly obsessed with getting my nails done. I used to see girls having them on at secondary school over Christmas (when the fashion was to have big square and short ones- oh 2013 fashion what were you thinking?) and I fell in love with how they looked. When I went to sixth form I decided that I wanted them on myself, as I could get infills frequently and I didn’t have to take them off as you could have whatever nail polish you wanted at sixth form. I haven’t looked back since! I have had them on basically since then and even though I have had 3 breaks from acrylics, I have shellac on pretty much permanently. I can’t remember the last time that I painted my nails myself!
All of the photos in this nails 101 post are the nails that I have had over the past year or so, obviously I have had a lot more than this but I only take photos of my favourite sets!
I love having my nails done and I love the feeling of having a fresh set of nails on. I always feel so much more confident and ‘myself’ with longer nails, they make me feel more feminine (and like a boss at the same time!). Especially as I’m a heavy ring wearer, I think they compliment my style so well, but I know a lot of people that don’t like having long nails due to the nature of their job or just personal preference. My favourite shape without a doubt is the pointed style, which is pictured in most of these photos. I think that they suit my hand shape the best and the elongated style is really feminine in my opinion. At the beginning of the year I had the classic square shape, which was nice for a change but I much prefer the pointed ones and they are the ones that I currently have.
I go the salon and have my nails done every 3-4 weeks at a local nail bar in my hometown, and each time it takes just under an hour from start to finish. This is one of my main treat purchases of the month so although it is quite an expensive hobby I don’t mind paying the extra. It saves me so much time through not having to paint my nails constantly, my nails always look fab and its so nice to have an hour relaxing without being able to go on your phone. I have got my nan into having shellac done so we usually go together now, which I love as its something we can do together which we both enjoy… although hers always take a lot less time than mine! Hopefully I can convince some of you after reading this nails 101 posts.
Colour is the most important thing for me when it comes to my nails and over the years I think I have had nearly every colour under the sun. If you know me you will know how much I love glitter so I usually try to incorporate a glitter somewhere on my nails, usually on my thumb and fourth finger to compliment the main colour. Sparkles just makes me happy and I think that my favourite nails I’ve ever had are the ones where it is a neutral tone glitter on every finger as I just feel like a sparkly princess. They are always the nails I have on a special occasion like my birthday or Christmas, and I usually save them for times like that so they are more special. My favourite colour that I have ever had is the sparkly glitter for my body shop event, each time I looked down at my hands I swooned a little and since then I’ve never been able to get the exact same colour again!
Something I would note is that you often see girls on Instagram with white acrylics and they look gorgeous, and I think they look fab for summer holidays and for making tanned skin pop. However, when I had them I found that they faded to an off cream colour really quickly and I actually had to go back sooner to have them taken off as they just looked disgusting after just under 2 weeks.. If you want something paler I would recommend a super pale pink or grey colour instead to save yourself from that problem.
One of the main questions I get when people see my nails is ‘but doesn’t it ruin them?’ and the answer to that is yes it does, a lot. When I do have acrylics on I have them taken off every few months to let my natural nails have a bit of air and grow on their own again for a bit. My nails are so brittle and weak after having acrylics, but it is the price you have to pay and they will grow back if you look after them. If you nails are very weak then I would recommend shellac as it doesn’t damage your nails half as much but still keeps them very strong and stops them from snapping all the time. I think my best tip for weak nails is to keep them short, its so hard to when you are used to gorgeous long acrylics but it will help them to grow and not snap all of the time. I had a few of mine that were long still and then after a few days they just broke and looked really rugged, so although filing them short doesn’t look the nicest it will be the most beneficial. Oil is also your saviour, and even when I do have acrylics on I always try and put a little bit of the body shop oil (for hair, skin and nails) on my cuticles. It doesn’t feel that great because it makes your hands feel oily for a few minutes but I do it when I get out of the shower and it is so worth it, as I do think it has helped their strength.
Overall I absolutely love acrylics and just getting my nails in general, and in my opinion the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I would 100% recommend you trying them and if you care for your nails before and after the damage isn’t too bad. I think they look gorgeous and are a great way to treat yourself, especially at this time of year when we are entering Christmas party season… imagine all of the fun Christmas shades you can have, the possibilities are endless! I’m thinking of having a red sparkle this year. Like I said before I have even got my nan obsessed with shellac and she was adamant for months that she wouldn’t like them so its definitely worth a tryster reading this nails 101 post!